The trip from FL to PA didn't feel very long to a blushing bride who was very ready to live in the same state as her husband. However, two years and an amazing baby boy later I definitely felt all 1200 miles. It took 8 states, 3 days and 4 sore tushies, but eventually we all arrived in Pennsylvania.
Our last week in Florida included two special lunch dates. On Thursday, I met up with Snowy (well, that's her camp name anyway...) who was my middle school camp director and played a large role in my understanding of who Christ really is and my eventual choice to follow Him. She's counseled me during medical, psychological, and relational problems throughout the years so it was a really neat moment to be able to share my joy in life with her. Sometimes it takes talking to those who've known you a long time to realize how far you've come : )
Friday, I got to meet David's coworkers and introduce them to Caleb. David learned a lot during his time in Florida and it was nice to be able to put faces to names. It was also really neat to hear how much each of them valued David's contributions during his time there. His work isn't something I understand a lot about, and since David is his own worst critic, I often hear how things aren't going as he wishes they would. Getting an opportunity to hear about his accomplishments was very cool!
Our final weekend was full of packing, moving and last minute visits with family and friends. Those who've been following my "hot spot" decluttering posts may have noticed I missed the 5th and final spot, which was "choose your own". I wish I had taken before and after pictures of our whole apartment because my before looked like 2 adults and a baby lived there and one week later it was empty! Of course, we couldn't have done it without our awesome move out crew.
David's mom, brothers, sister in law and my BFF Corali all came up to join the fun. We packed, cleaned, talked, laughed, and did our best to show Corali what makes our family fun (and crazy). I feel homesick just thinking about what a great weekend we had in spite of all the work to be done. I'm so blessed with wonderful friends, parents and in laws. I must admit, I never thought I'd enjoy having brothers so much!
Lots of people in our tiny living room
Monday David went into work briefly to tie up loose ends. It took us a little longer to finish up the "last few things" at the apartment, as it always seems to, but we we're on the road to my parents house by 4:30pm. We stayed the night, cleared a spot in the car for my mom, and headed towards our friend's home in South Carolina.
Even though it was a brief visit, I enjoyed our overnight stay and Sarah and Eric's so much. The kids are growing up so fast. I love hearing them talk about their interests, show me their school work and other projects, see how their likes and dislikes have changed...it's amazing how much changes in a few months! Oh, and of course I also enjoyed getting to visit with Sarah : ) Eric was working that night, but we did at least get to give him a hug when he got home in the morning. I can't wait to have a visit longer than one night where we can all hang out!
The next night we stopped at a hotel in Virginia, just 3 hours away from home. In the BC days (that would be, Before Caleb) I wouldn't have thought twice about pushing forward another 3 hours. However, babies need their sleep, especially when they are sick (did I mention poor Caleb got his first cold just in time for the trip?) and our particular baby does not sleep well at all in the car seat. So stop we did.
The next morning we arrive in PA to find spring in full, beautiful bloom. Every flowering tree loaded down with blossoms, cheery daffodils poking out everywhere, and more buds waiting to open into their full splendor over the next few weeks.
Once we got home, I didn't have much time to soak in my surroundings. The car was unloaded and returned while Caleb napped. As soon as he awoke we drove to the pediatrician's office to find out he was running a low-grade fever and needed antibiotics for an ear/nose infection that was also making his eye run. Poor baby!
Now, a few days later, Caleb is looking and feeling much better, the house is slowly being returned to a presentable state and I still feel like I haven't had 5 minutes to process my thoughts about being home. I miss family, was overjoyed to see friends at church yesterday, miss dear friends from church in Florida, love that it's sweater-weather up here and that 90 degree days are behind me...there really is no other word than bittersweet.
No matter where we go, we leave people we love behind. I know Pennsylvania is where God has planted us for this season in our lives and I'm so thankful for our home, wonderful neighbors, great friends and incredible church family. They are what makes this town our home.